OAB Brings Innovation Home after Visit to Leading Innovation Labs in the US and UK

  • Harvard’s Innovation Lab and Barclay’s Rise Lab are ranked among the best in the world
  • They will serve as inspiration for the upcoming OAB Innovation Lab

Muscat, 25 June 2019: Oman Arab Bank (OAB) is currently in the process of setting up a first-of-its-kind innovation lab in Oman. When completed the OAB Innovation Lab will provide access to one-to-one mentoring, specialised workshops, and industry experts for local students, OAB staff as well as local, regional, and international FinTech companies.

In order to ensure the implementation of best practices when setting up the lab, members of the OAB senior management team conducted visits to two of the best innovation labs in the world – Barclay’s Rise Lab in London, UK, and the Harvard Innovation Lab in Massachusetts, US. As part of the latter visit to Harvard, the OAB delegates also attended a two-day program called ‘Strategy and Innovation’.

The visit to Barclay’s Rise Lab was conducted by Leen Al Atassi, Head of Innovation at OAB and Stephen David Whitaker, Chief Information Officer, whilst the visit to the Harvard Innovation Lab was conducted by Rashad Al Musafir, the Chief Executive Officer, Asma Al Zadjali, Head of the Banking Operations Group, and Leen Al Atassi, the Head of Innovation.

Commenting on the Innovation Lab, Rashad Al Musafir said, “At OAB we understand that a drive to innovate is key to our success as a service provider. As society and expectations change, it is our role to pre-empt these changes and the demands that follow. Our Innovation Lab will help us drive this process and deliver a superior customer experience, now and in the future.

“The importance of these programmes lies not only in the innovation journey, however. By taking key learnings from these industry-leaders, we hope to create a space where we can also inspire local talent; talent with innovative ideas that will re-define our customers’ experience.”

Earlier this year, OAB held the first edition of its Innovation Hub event, a 24-hr hackathon where over 300 participants including students, OAB employees and local and global FinTech companies, competed to create innovative prototypes in a sandbox environment around current industry themes.

“Creating a high-performing and innovative culture starts with the right people and the right environment. Harvard and Barclay’s labs are two of the world’s leading innovation labs; we endeavour to draw inspiration from these leading business models so that we can create unique value to our customers, employees and the wider community. OAB’s Innovation Lab will include a tailor-made programme that is specifically geared to accelerate innovation through collaboration.” added Leen Al Atassi.

Following the OAB Innovation Hub event, ten students and an Omani Fintech company were selected to join OAB’s innovation programme, which includes a six-month internship and one-to-one mentoring for students. The teams are currently working closely with internal subject-matter experts to develop their solutions and deliver them to the market at the end of the programme.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 152 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides a complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.